This week marks the annual celebrations of marijuana on April 20 and Earth Day on April 22. Several restaurants are jumping on the chance to tie into these two events with themed menu items. But the chicken sandwich wars continue to grab the spotlight, as Smashburger joins the fray with the launch of a new extra-spicy version. Other chains are getting into the seasonal spirit, temping customers with limited-time offers that feature spring and summer flavors.
The Scorchin’ Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich is what Smashburger is calling its peace offering in the chicken sandwich wars. The sandwich features Nashville hot crispy chicken, spicy red pepper mayo and pickles on a classic toasted bun. With the item’s debut, the fast casual is inviting chains to “leave the battles behind and embrace their chicken sandwich differences … for the love of crispy chicken.” Smashburger is holding a “Peace Hour” promotion between 2 and 5 p.m. through April 22, with locations giving away a free Scorchin’ Hot Crispy Chicken Sandwich to any fast-casual or fast-food employee who comes dressed in their work uniform.
Jack in the Box
A new Chick-N-Tater Melt Munchie Meal is targeted to 4/20 celebrants at Jack in the Box. It features a buttery croissant topped with crispy chicken, bacon and hash browns covered in a blend of three cheeses and ranch sauce, sided by two tacos, fries and a small fountain drink. It’s available through Uber Eats, DoorDash and GrubHub and the chain’s mobile app starting on April 20. Customers with munchies can purchase any Jack in the Box item through the app on 4/20 and get 20% off their order.
Sticky’s Finger Joint
With a name like Sticky’s Finger Joint, it seems like a no-brainer to tie into national pot smoking day on 4/20. The regional chain, with locations in Philadelphia, New York City and New Jersey, is selling any chicken sandwich for $4.20 all day long through its app or website. Sticky’s is known for its fried and grilled chicken fingers as well as bite-sized poppers, all served with a choice of 18 house-made sauces.
Insomnia Cookies has a sweet way to satisfy the munchies—Cookie Butter Nachos. The decadent treat features 18 mini chocolate chunk cookies drizzled with rich cookie butter and a choice of up to three toppings. With any in-store or delivery order on 4/20, Insomnia is giving away a free cookie. The chain’s loyalty club CookieMagic members get extra discounts on April 20, including a baker’s dozen of classic cookies for $10. Cookie Butter Nachos are available through May 2.
Earth Day is getting its due at Sweetgreen, with the launch of an all-new Low Carbon Menu Collection on April 22. Included in the lineup are menu items with the smallest carbon footprint, including the fast casual’s Crispy Rice Bowl, Shroomami, Super Green Goddess and Guacamole Greens. A limited-edition tote bag made from recycled materials will be given away to select customers on Earth Day through the chain’s Instagram page and in store on pickup orders of any of the low carbon items.
Ike’s Love & Sandwiches
Starting on April 22 and for one week only, a limited-edition vegan sandwich is available from Ike’s Love & Sandwiches. The Earth Angel sandwich is a build of plant-based turkey, mushrooms, vegan mozzarella and cabbage slaw, then slathered with Ike’s signature Dirty Sauce and layered on Dutch crunch bread. During the promotion, Earth Angel will sell for $10. A portion of its sales will be donated to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in support of their “Eat Vegan for the Earth Day” campaign.
Spring is in full bloom at Bellagreen with a menu that showcases fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. The American bistro-style chain follows earth-friendly practices year-round, and the new menu reflects that mission. Among the seven items are the Bella Green Goddess Salad, a toss of lettuces, strawberries, carrots, chickpeas and green goddess dressing topped with watermelon radish; Rainbow Slaw Paleo Salmon Tacos made with sustainably sourced salmon topped with a colorful jicama-based slaw and served with mango habanero sauce; and Lemon Poppyseed Cheesecake topped with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and lemon zest. Bellagreen’s spring recipe for White Sangria is a blend of pinto grigio wine, oranges, green apple, lemon and watermelon. For every order of salmon tacos, the chain will donate 50 cents to the Texas Trees Foundation.
Quaker Steak & Lube
Quaker Steak & Lube is moving to the next season on the calendar with its All-American Summer menu. The roster of items highlights summer barbecue flavors, refreshing drinks and a special July holiday. Smoked brisket is the star of sliders, an entree platter and a brisket and baby back rib combo meal. All are enhanced with Smoked Jalapeno Honey Mustard Sauce, a new condiment that can also be ordered with the chain’s wings. On the liquid side of the menu are Blackberry Bourbon Smash, Red, White & Blue Sangria and Tito’s Grilled Lemonade, crafted with smoke-infused simple syrup and garnished with grilled lemon. The same flavor combo comes alcohol-free in Unleaded Grilled Lemonade. For dessert, there’s Berry Cheesecake, topped with strawberry compote and fresh blueberries in July 4th colors.
Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
Summer drinking is also on tap at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar with the launch of three refreshing mojitos. The Classic Mojito is a blend of rum, fresh lime juice, house-made simple syrup and fresh mint, while the Raspberry Mojito adds a fruity touch to the classic with the addition of fresh raspberries and raspberry puree. The third cocktail in the trio, the Pineapple Mojito, offers a tropical twist, It pairs rum with lime, mint, fresh pineapple and pineapple puree.